This vehicle ID guide / buyers guide has been developed for those interested in the final series Leyland Mini Moke Californian. In particular, this guide focuses on the top model with the 1275cc engine and disc brakes produced from 1978 – 1982. Separate guides will shortly be developed for earlier 1275 Californian Mokes, as well as the 998cc Californian Mokes.

The 1275 Californian Moke of 1978 – 1982 represents one of the most desirable cars in the Australian Moke range, available with the highest equipment and engine specifications, making the cars increasingly collectable today, often demanding prices not too far short of the Cooper S. Given that this version of the Moke shares many components with standard Moke cars, more replicas exist today than were ever actually produced, making it extremely important that you know what you are getting if you are shopping for one of these cars, or trying to work out what Moke you have.

This Guide attemps to provide a good basis for identification of a genuine 1275 Moke Californian, outlining external and interiorl featutures to look for, along with the important engine and chassis number designations applicable to these specific cars.

Production Numbers: Total Moke production = 26,000  (approx.) Unknown numbers of 1275 Californians specifically. If you have any information on the numbers, please email us (see button at top right), or comment below!

Period of Manufacture: 1978 - 1982

Please note, this is only a broad guide and should not be relied upon. If you are looking at purchasing a rare car, we advise you to do your own research and consult with professionals.

1. External Features - Leyland Mini Moke Californian (1275)

The Leyland Mini Moke Californian 1275 came with the following external features, which make a good starting point for the identification of an original vehicle:

  • California stickers on sides of bonnet.
  • Bull bars front and rear (known as “Roo Bars”).
  • Sunrasia 13” X 5.5” 8 spoke Wheels with Leyland centre caps. Note, these wheels have a different hub design to the 998 Californian Moke and others, in that they accommodate disc brakes.
  • Hi back seats (known as "Tombstone" seats).
  • Red "1275" badge on the front right hand side of the grille.
  • Roll bars (standard from 1979 onward).
  • 1980 – 1982 Mokes came with galvanised bodies (feature announced in Novemnber 1979, so there may be some late 1979 galvanised Mokes).
  • Removable front grille.
  • From 1979 onward, peripheral glass deflector screens were standard, ans well as side screens with zips which replaced the old turn studs. The fuel filler moved to the left side panel and a larger aluminium "Moke" badge was mounted above the grille on the body (see image).
  • "Moke" was embossed onto the mud flaps in white.
  • The rear tail lights are square and accommodated within a recessed section of the rear kick plates.
  • Optional sump guard (see images).
  • Headlamp mesh guards (option).
2. Interior Features - Leyland Mini Moke Californian 1275

The Leyland Mini Moke Californian came with the following interior features. Note, many of these features can easily be replicated, and were available on other Moke models, and may not necessarily be unique to the Californian 1275 unless specifically noted.

  • "Tombstone" high back seats, with tilting rear squabs.
  • Roll bar (Standard from 1979 onward).
  • Inertia seatbelts standard with the roll cage.
  • A denim effect seat and hood option also became available. Many cars simply had black vinyl.
  • zips replaced the previous turn studs.
  • Tubular rubber floor matting.
  • Brake fail and handbrake warning light on dash (like all 78 onward minis).
  • Two speed windscreen wipers.
  • Steering Wheel: The Californians were usually fitted with a sports steering wheel. There were several options available and a lot of debate surrounds the topic of what is an original wheel. These options we found in our research include:

- Formula GT wheel (Same of similar to the 998LS or 1275LS, having apparently been supplied to Leyland by Mini Kingdom from 1978 – 1982 (see labeled images).

- Smaller 3 spoke (9 hole) wheel with Leyland badge in the centre (came in either flat form or deep dish form).

- Smaller 3 spoke (3 hole) wheel  with Leyland badge in centre (came in either flat form or deep dish form).


3. Paint Colours / Codes - Leyland Mini Moke Californian 1275

According to our research, the following colours were available on the Moke Californian between 1978 and 1982. We also note that some cars may have been produced with one off colours not on this list. To confirm the original colour of the car, the only way (oter than scraping back current paint paint) is to look at the original paint sticker which will contain the colour name and code (see images). Interestingly, many mokes had the paint code hand written onto the standard Dulux sticker - perhaps due to certain print runs for particular colours having dried up in supply with mini maufacturing ending. These colours, like all late Australian minis, used a Dulux/Dulon colour code.

Yellow Devil (Code: 566-17422)

Signal Red (Code: 566-30671)

Squadron Blue (Code: 566-30464)

Jade Green (Code: 566-30175)

Blue white (Code: 566-31490)

Crystal White (Code: 566-11572)

Hi Ho Silver (Code: 562-17553)

Silver Blue (Code TBC)

Highway Yellow (Code TBC)

Cobalt Blue (Code: TBC)

Pacific Blue (Code: TBC)

As you can see, we are missing a few codes for the above colours. If anyone can provide these so we can update this section, that would be very helpful.

4. Chassis Number - Leyland Mini Moke Californian 1275

The Leyland Mini Moke Californian 1275cc came with either of the following two chassis prefixes, depending on the year:

Complied 1978: AKFPD18Y

Complied 1979 or later: AKFPD19Y

The above prefix is followed by a 6 digit number individual to that car.

The prefix is explained as follows:

AK = Moke
F = Californian
P = Buckboard
D = 1275
1 = 4-speed manual, right-hand-steering
8 or 9 = Model commencing year
Y = Australian.


Location of Chassis Number:

The chassis prefix can be found in two places, which must of course match. Firstly, the number should appear on the cars VIN plate / chassis plate, being the aluminium tag pop riveted to the firewall (see images for a better location description). Secondly, like most Mini's in Australia, the matching prefix and number should be stamped into the top of the radiator shroud panel.

5. Engine Number - Leyland Mini Moke Californian 1275

The engine number on a Leyland Mini Moke Californian 1275 should begin with the prefix 12H.

Several extended prefixes have been confirmed for the Moke in our research, including: 12H902, 12H706 and 12H905. If you find an engine in a Californian with this sort of number, chances are it is original. The 12H prefix is a MK3 1275cc engine imported from europe, used also on the 1978 1275LS. These blocks are held in high regard with respect to durability due to additional bracing in the block casting, despite having less power than earlier Cooper S spec blocks.


Engine Number Location:

The engine number, like on all Minis, is located underneath the number 1 spark plug, just above the alternator. You will see a flat edge of the block sticking out where the head meets the block, with a number stamped. See images for a better description of the location and stemping typeface.

6. Mechanical Features - Leyland Mini Moke Californian 1275

1978 - 1982 1275 Californian Mokes had the following mechanical features. Again, many of these features can be easily replicated / fitted to any car, and therefore only provides an indication in terms of identifying an original car.

  • 1275cc A+ engine with 12H prefix.
  • Single 1.5” SU Carburetter connected to pollution gear (see images of hoses and filters etc)
  • Front 8.4” Disc brakes (Shared with 1275LS). Rear drum brakes (same as standard mini).
  • Twin speed wiper motor
  • 13” X 5.5” Sunraysia wheels (Specifically designed to incorporate disc brakes).
  • 28.4 litre fuel tank in 1978, from 1979 the cars were fitted with a 38L tank, filling on the left hand side, and taking up all three box sections on the LHS.
  • 4 core/ 4 tube Copper Radiator (Same as used on 1275LS). This is a visibly thicker radiator than was applied to the 998 engines, and is commonly known as the "tropical readiator".
  • Often, front subframes on later models were modified with steel pieces welded around the tower area to strengthen it for heavier work.